Can Thor Breathe in Space (& Underwater)?

Can Thor Breathe in Space (& Underwater)?

Thor, the God of Thunder, is a big powerhouse in Marvel Comics when it comes to durability. The guy is practically immortal, living for thousands of years, aging like fine wine, and fighting some of the most powerful beings in the universe. Almost nothing can kill him, so fans wonder, does Thor even need to breathe? Can Thor breathe in space or underwater?

Thor can breathe in space and underwater due to his superhuman God of Thunder physiology. The better term would be “survive” in space since space is a vacuum, and there’s no air to breathe there. We’ve seen Thor achieve this feat both in the comics and the MCU.

In some versions of the comics, Thor needed to breathe but could hold his breath for a very long time. However, it’s a consensus right now that the God of Thunder is virtually self-sustenant. That means he doesn’t need air, food, or even sleep to survive. The MCU version of Thor is a bit different, though. Let’s explore Thor’s self-sustaining abilities a bit more.

Can Thor Breathe In Space?

As I’ve mentioned, the God of Thunder is virtually immortal. There are versions of Thor (namely, Old King Thor) that have outlived every other god in the universe. However, depending on the version of the character and the writers behind them, Thor survived for so long in various ways. The same goes for his breathing in space.

Now, I want to highlight that no version of Thor can actually breathe in space – nor can any other character – because space is a vacuum, meaning there’s no air to breathe there. Well, at least outside of the atmosphere of planets and other celestial bodies.

The versions of Thor differ related to how he can survive the vacuum of space. Some versions – especially the earlier versions of Thor – had the Asgardian hold his breath for an insane amount of time before running out of oxygen because his lungs had the capacity to hold enough air for a hurricane. 

So, when he traveled through space, Thor actually held his breath until he found a breathable atmosphere. Some versions even had difficulty with that, being incapable of surviving for too long in outer space, but that was hardly ever the case.

thor space suffocating

Most commonly, though, Thor can survive in space because he doesn’t need to breathe to survive. In fact, the God of Thunder can sustain himself completely without air, food, or sleep. Thor enjoys food, so he eats, and “recharges” his powers when sleeping – but he needs neither to survive.

That’s essentially how Thor can “breathe” in space – he doesn’t need to breathe at all. He can use Mjolnir to travel to the furthest reaches of outer space, to the edges of the universe itself, without harm.

thor space flying

Can Thor Breathe In Space In The MCU?

The MCU Thor is one of the mightiest characters we’ve seen so far, and there are many awesome features that show that. We’ve seen him smack Thanos with the Stormbreaker despite the Mad Titan wielding all six Infinity Stones. And, yes, Thor can also survive in space in the MCU.


Can Thor Die? God of Thunder’s Immortality Explained

We’ve first seen that feature of the God of Thunder after Thanos destroyed the spaceship with all the remaining Asgardians. The Guardians of the Galaxy found Thor floating in space, still alive. After that, Thor, Groot, and Rocket traveled to Nidavellir, where Eitri the Dwarf forged Stormbreaker for Thor.

And again, we see Thor exiting the pod and surviving in space. He single-handedly aligned the frozen rings and opened the neutron star over his back to fire up the forge. Now, it’s clear that he could survive in space, but one thing confused me a bit. As Thor was outside of the pod, aligning the rings and opening the neutron star, he talked with Rocket.

So, if space is a vacuum, there’s no air through which sound could travel. Hence, nobody should be able to talk in space. The MCU never addressed how Thor managed to talk with Rocket that way, but perhaps Nidavellir had an outer atmosphere, so Thor wasn’t actually in the vacuum of space when he opened the rings. 

Whatever it is, MCU Thor can survive in space, and that’s all we need to know.

Can Thor Breathe Underwater?

Now, we haven’t seen Thor swimming and diving too many times, but it has happened throughout the years. However, it was always clear that Thor could survive underwater for a long time. Not breathe, but survive. 

And again, how he can manage such a feat depends on the version of the character. Sometimes, Thor can hold his breath for a very long time, while sometimes, he doesn’t need to breathe at all. That being said, I wouldn’t say that Thor can actually breathe underwater, but he can survive there.

Some characters, such as the Hulk, have their bodily structure change completely when underwater so that they can actually breathe water without their lungs collapsing and them drowning. Thor can’t really do that, but he can survive underwater by not breathing at all or holding his breath for a long time.


Thor vs Hulk: Who Would Win?

And, if I may add, it seems that the God of Thunder is quite good at swimming and diving. In fact, there was a moment when he saved Loki from drowning by swimming “faster than the fastest fish.” It was a silly situation, to be honest, but it happened.

thor space water

Can Thor Breathe Underwater In The MCU?

As far as I can remember, we haven’t seen MCU Thor going underwater to determine whether or not he could breathe there. The only scene I could think of when Thor was in the water in the MCU was the Norn Cave deleted scene from Avengers: Age of Ultron. And, even in that scene, Thor wasn’t really diving, so there’s not much there to determine his underwater survival skills.

Still, we’ve seen him get hurdled through space with Loki in Thor: Ragnarok and end up landing on Sakaar. Also, we’ve seen him float through space in Infinity War and survive. Seeing that MCU Thor can survive in space, I’m pretty sure he could also survive underwater, too. Perhaps he couldn’t breathe, per se, but survive? Certainly.